This is something I pretty much don't understand. In grammar books "linking" verbs are referred as verbs that connect the subject to its complement. On the other hand, stative verbs convey a more "abstract " thought, concept that is "usually" but not always used in non-progressive forms. If those concepts are ok, are the following sentences correct?

Ana seems exhausted.

Ana is exhausted.

If the verb "seem" is left out in the first sentence,it wouldn't make sense, and the same seems to apply in the second sentence with the verb "is" So,

Are the names "linking" and " stative" used only as general guidelines, or do they really mean some aspect that an English learner must take into consideration?

2 Answers 2


A stative verb defines the state of something: examples are sit, lie, stand. Stative verbs are often intransitive versions of a transitive, active verb that involves putting something into the specified state, for example

He laid the child gently on the bed - active
The child lay on the bed- stative

A linking verb is used when describing something: it serves to link the something with the description, and may explain how we are aware of the description. For a factual description, we use be: for soemthing involving senses, emotions or opinion, we use linking words like taste, feel or seem.

Linking verbs are generally stative, since the description is generally a state, but not all stative verbs are linking verbs.


There are two main types of linking verbs:

  • Some linking verbs show a state, so they are stative verbs: be, seem, appear, look, etc. Just like other stative verbs, they can't be used in progressive forms, or modified with adverbs of manner.
    Example: You look good!

  • Some linking verbs show a change, so they are dynamic verbs: become, get, grow, turn, etc.
    Example: The leaves are slowly turning brown.

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